A Novel Approach to Non-Destructive Rubber Vulcanization Monitoring by the Transient Radar Method

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Abstract

Rubber is one of the most used materials in the world; however, raw rubber shows a relatively very low mechanical strength. Therefore, it needs to be cured before its ultimate applicatios. Curing process specifications, such as the curing time and temperature, influence the material properties of the final cured product. The transient radar method (TRM) is introduced as an alternative for vulcanization monitoring in this study. Three polyurethane-rubber samples with different curing times of 2, 4, and 5.5 min were studied by TRM to investigate the feasibility and robustness of the TRM in curing time monitoring. Additionally, the mechanical stiffness of the samples was investigated by using a unidirectional tensile test to investigate the potential correlations between curing time, dielectric permittivity, and stiffness. According to the results, the complex permittivity and stiffness of the samples with 2, 4, and 5.5 min of curing time was 17.33 ± 0.07 − (2.41 ± 0.04)j; 17.09 ± 0.05 − (4.90 ± 0.03)j; 23.60 ± 0.05 − (14.06 ± 0.06)j; and 0.29, 0.35, and 0.38 kPa, respectively. Further statistical analyses showed a correlation coefficient of 0.99 (p = 0.06), 0.80 (p = 0.40), and 0.92 (p = 0.25) between curing time–stiffness, curing time–permittivity (real part), and curing time–permittivity (imaginary part), respectively. The correlation coefficient between curing time and permittivity can show the potential of the TRM system in contact-free vulcanization monitoring, as the impact of vulcanization can be tracked by means of TRM. View Full-Text
Original languageEnglish
Article number5010
JournalSensors (Basel, Switzerland)
Volume22
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the “SB Ph.D. fellow at FWO” (“SB-doctoraatsbursaal van het FWO”), Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek-Vlaanderen, Research Foundation, Flan-ders, project number: 1S51122N and the Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek-Vlaanderen, FWO, for the grant G.0337.19.N. The authors also acknowledge Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) through the SRP-project M3D2, the ETRO-IOF project IOF3016, and the OZR-VUB for the OZR3251 Medium-scale measurement infrastructure project related to Vector network analyzers, Innoviris, Brussels, through the Differential Smooth Transient Radar Method, BRGSOIB5 and TRM4aSF.

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: The authors acknowledge the “SB Ph.D. fellow at FWO” (“SB-doctoraatsbur-saal van het FWO”), Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek-Vlaanderen, Research Foundation, Flanders, project number: 1S51122N and the Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek-Vlaanderen, FWO, for the grant G.0337.19.N. The authors also acknowledge Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) through the SRP-project M3D2, the ETRO-IOF project IOF3016, and the OZR-VUB for the OZR3251 Medium- scale measurement infrastructure project related to Vector network analyzers, Innoviris, Brussels, through the Differential Smooth Transient Radar Method, BRGSOIB5 and TRM4aSF.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Copyright:
Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • vulcanization monitoring
  • curing time
  • TRM
  • non-destructive
  • complex permittivity

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